The Essence of Buddha Dharma – Osho

What is the essence of Buddha Dharma – The religion of the Buddha? 

Mouna,

Yoka says:

If you reach the Zen of Buddha, at that very moment you accomplish everything. 

In your dream there are many pathways, but when you wake up, they are reduced to nothing. Neither error, nor happiness, nor loss, nor gain. 

Do not try to find anything in the essence of your being. It is a long time since you wiped the dust from your mirror, now it is time for you to see its brilliancy perfectly. 

Who can not-think, all is his. If you practice charity in order to become Buddha when will you succeed? Never – A thousand times never. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature. All things in the universe are impermanent, and therefore all existence is void. That is the whole understanding of Buddha.

This is the essence of Buddha Dharma, the religion of the Buddha. First: it is not a philosophy that you can understand intellectually; you have to become a Buddha to know it. Hence Yoka says: 

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of the Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

Nothing is missing when you reach the ultimate state of awakening; all is fulfilled, you are utterly contented. Life is known for the first time as a great significance, as a great dance, a celebration. Life is known for the first time as absolutely perfect. There is no complaint, no desire, no hankering for things to be other than they are. One is simply contented, totally contented. All desiring disappears.

And what is the state of Buddha? What is this “Zen of Buddha” Yoka is talking about? It is the state of no-mind. Hence Yoka says:

Who can not-think, all is his.

The greatest thing in life to experience is a state of no-thought. The greatest art of life is to be able to be without mind. Even if it happens for a single moment – just a glimpse – you have reached the beyond and you have crossed the point of no-return.

Don’t go on thinking about it – what it is. By thinking you will go on missing it. Thinking is the sure way of missing the Buddha Dharma; non-thinking is the way to achieve it. It is your own nature!

Buddha does not talk about some great mysteries, hidden secrets, esoteric knowledge. He does not believe in mythology; he is not an occultist. He is a very simple man, very ordinary. He believes in the ordinary existence. He says your day-to-day life is all there is. If you can live it joyfully, silently, understandingly, watchfully, there is nothing else to be done. Your very ordinary life starts becoming extraordinary. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature.

Just remember: don’t distort your nature, remain true to your nature. Listen to your own nature and follow it. Don’t follow anybody else.

Buddha says, “Even if you meet me on the way, kill me immediately.” He is saying: Don’t follow me, just take the hints. Try to understand, imbibe the spirit. Feel my presence and then go on your way. Live according to your own light, howsoever small it is; but if it is yours and you live according to it, it will go on growing.

Buddha says, “Be a light unto yourself.” That is his greatest message. Nobody else in the whole world, in the whole history of humanity, has been so respectful towards others as Gautam the Buddha. “Be a light unto yourself.”

Buddhas only point the way – fingers pointing to the moon. You have to follow, and you have to follow according to your nature. You have to be silent, quiet, so you can listen to the still small voice within you, and then follow it. Wherever it leads it is good. Go in deep trust, following your own voice.  Be spontaneous, natural, ordinary. This is the way of being extraordinary. Be ordinary but aware, and the ordinary becomes the sacred. 

All things in the universe are impermanent

So don’t be worried. All things are impermanent: pleasure and pain, friendship and enmity, poverty and richness, success and failure, birth and death. All is in a flux, all is impermanent, so why be worried? Everything goes on changing. Don’t cling – clinging brings misery, clinging shows your misunderstanding. The moment you cling to something you are living with the idea that it can be permanent. Nothing can be permanent, and nothing can be done about it. It is just the nature of things to be impermanent.

You are trying to catch hold of rainbows. They are beautiful, but you cannot catch hold of them – one moment they are there and another moment they are gone. So don’t cling to anything because everything is impermanent. And don’t desire anything because even if you get it, you will lose it. If you don’t get it, you will be frustrated. If you get it and lose it, you will be frustrated. Either way you will be in misery, you are inviting misery. So don’t desire anything and don’t cling to anything.

Whatsoever comes, accept it. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness. Just accept it, live through it silently, without being disturbed by it. Misery comes, it will go. Happiness comes, it will go. Everything passes away, nothing abides, so there is nothing to worry about.

Go on passing through all kinds of experiences, and then you will know that one can pass through the world uncontaminated, uncorrupted. One can live in the palaces without clinging, then he is a sannyasin; and one can live in a hut and can cling to the hut, then he is not a sannyasin.

That’s why I don’t tell you to renounce the world, I simply say: Be watchful. That is the essence of Buddha’s message.

People ask me, “But Buddha renounced the world. Why did he renounce?” He renounced when he was not a Buddha. He renounced when he was as ignorant as anybody else. He renounced in ignorance.

When he attained the truth, when he experienced the truth and came back home, his wife asked him only one question. “Just tell me one thing,” she asked. ”Whatsoever you have attained… I can see you are a transformed being. You have become luminous, you are no longer the same person. The old is gone, you are reborn. It is so clear to me – even a blind person like me can see it. But just answer me one question. Whatsoever you have attained, was it not possible to attain it living here with me in this palace?”

And the story is: Buddha remained silent, looking downwards. The wife was right. He didn’t say anything.

In the East, not saying anything is thought to be a sign of agreement: Mounam sammati lakshanam. ”To be silent means I agree with you.” It says more than Buddha saying yes. His silence says more, it is more pregnant with meaning.

He immediately felt it: “She is right.” Whatsoever he had attained could have been attained anywhere. There was no need to go into the jungle.

There is no need for you to go anywhere. Wherever you are you can assert your Buddhahood, you can become awakened.

The essence is to slip out of the mind, to get out of the mind. The mind is the world. The mind is full of desires, full of clingings, attachments, longings. Get out of the mind! Create a little distance between you and the mind. Be a watcher, a watcher on the hills, and you will be surprised: as you watch the mind, the distance becomes bigger and bigger. As you watch the mind, as you become more and more established in watching, the mind recedes farther and farther away. One day it happens: you cannot hear the chatter of the mind; it is no longer there. It is simply, absolutely silent. In that silence, truth descends in you. In that silence, you encounter yourself, you encounter your innermost core. And that is the innermost core of the whole existence. Your being is the being of all.

We are separate as minds, as bodies, but not as consciousness. In consciousness we meet, we are one. That consciousness is God. That meeting, that oneness where all differences dissolve, where we are no longer separate ice cubes, where we have melted and disappeared into the universal, Buddha calls nirvana. The word is beautiful; it means cessation of the ego. When the ego ceases you are God, you are a Buddha, you are a Christ. It is the ego that is giving you a limitation. It is the ego that is making you live in a prison. Get out of the ego! And nobody is preventing you – it is your own clinging, it is your own attachment. You have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your prison cell. You think it is your home, and it is not. Come out of it! Wake up!

To be awake is to be a Buddha. And Yoka is right.

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

-Osho

Excerpt from Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Will, Witnessing and Suchness – Osho

You have talked about how the subtle body can be separated from the physical body using one’s willpower. Can the subtle body of a seeker who follows the discipline of witnessing, or that of a seeker who follows the discipline of tathata, suchness, be separated without exercising the will?

To follow the discipline of witnessing requires a great resolve. Following the discipline of tathata requires even greater resolve. It is the greatest resolution ever. When a man determines to live like a witness, that in itself is a great resolution. For example, a man decides he will not eat. He resolves to remain hungry for the day. Another man decides he will eat, but instead of watching himself eat, he will eat watchfully. This is a more difficult resolution.

It is not too difficult to give up food. The truth is, for those who have plenty to eat, it is easy to go without food for a day or two. That’s why in an affluent society the cults of dieting and fasting become popular. For example, in America the idea of dieting has become very popular. People immediately become attracted to naturopathy.

When people have enough to eat, the idea of fasting once in a while appeals to them. It seems to make one feel lighter and more cheerful. In fact in a poor society, staying hungry may be a kind of use of one’s willpower. But in an affluent society it’s a matter of convenience. Actually, if food becomes sufficiently available throughout the world, fasting will turn out to be a necessity for everyone. People will have to remain with empty stomachs once in a while. But witnessing is a very difficult thing.

Let’s understand it this way. For instance, you make a decision that you won’t walk, that you will remain seated in the same chair for eight hours. Now this is not a big thing. You decided not to walk, so you are not walking. Someone else decides he will walk for eight hours — this is not a big thing either, because since he decided to walk, he is walking. But witnessing means you’ll walk, and at the same time you will also know that ‘you’ are not walking. What does witnessing mean? It means you’ll walk as well as know that it is not ‘you’ who is walking — that ‘you’ are simply witnessing the act of walking. This is a much more subtle resolution, a supreme resolution indeed.

Tathata, suchness, is the supreme most resolution; it’s the ultimate resolve. There is no determination higher than this. Even the resolve to enter death voluntarily is not so great a resolve really. Tathata means accepting things as they are. In a way, even the resolve to die voluntarily has its roots somewhere in non-acceptance. That is, we want to know what death is; we want to verify whether death actually occurs or not.

Tathata means, if death appears we will die; if life remains we’ll continue to live. Neither are we concerned with life, nor with death. If darkness falls we’ll stay in the dark; if the light appears we’ll settle with light. If something good comes to us we’ll receive it; if something bad befalls us we’ll bear it. Whatsoever happens, we are willing to accept it — we deny nothing. Let me explain this to you with an example.

Diogenes was passing through a forest. He walked around naked — had a beautiful body. It seems quite possible man must have started wearing clothes in order to cover his ugliness. This seems highly possible. We are always interested in hiding the ugly parts of our body. But this man Diogenes was a very handsome man. He lived naked.

So as he was passing through the forest, four men engaged in the business of capturing and selling slaves saw him. They figured if they could capture this man — good looking, strong, powerful – they may receive a good price for him. But they felt very apprehensive and couldn’t find any way to capture him without risking their lives.

Somehow, they tried and managed to surround him. Diogenes stood in the middle, calm and unperturbed. He asked, “What do you want to do?” The men were very surprised. They took out chains. Diogenes stretched out his hands. Full of fear and with trembling hands, the captors began to chain him.

Diogenes said, “No need to tremble. Come; let me tie the chains for you.” He helped them put on the chains. The men were simply flabbergasted.

After having chained him firmly, they said, “What sort of a man are you? We are putting you in chains and you are helping us! We were afraid this might lead to some fighting and trouble.”

Diogenes said, “You are having fun chaining me, I am having fun in being chained. Where is the need for any trouble? It’s great! Now tell me, where do we go from here?”

The men said, “We feel very embarrassed in telling you that we are in the business of slavery. We’ll now take you to the marketplace and put you up for sale.”

Diogenes said, “Good, let’s go.” He took off with great excitement and began walking even faster than the captors.

They said, “Please slow down a little. What’s the hurry?”

Diogenes said, “Now that we are going to the marketplace, why not reach in time?”

So finally they reached the marketplace. It was very crowded. Those who had come to buy slaves turned their eyes toward Diogenes. They had rarely seen a slave of this quality, because he looked more like an emperor. A huge crowd gathered around him. He was made to stand on the platform where the slaves were auctioned. Raising his voice, the auctioneer said, “Here is a slave for sale. Come forward and name your price.”

Diogenes said, “Shut up, you fool! Ask these men, did I walk in front, or did they? Did they tie the chains on me or did I let them tie the chains on me?”

His captors said, “The man is right. Left to ourselves, we don’t believe we could have captured him. And indeed he walked ahead of us so fast that we could not keep pace with him — we had to practically run behind him. So it is not correct to say we have brought him to the marketplace. The truth is, we have followed him to this place. And it is not right to say we have made him a slave. The fact is, this man agreed lo become a slave, we didn’t make him.”

Diogenes said, “Stop talking nonsense you fools, and let me do my own auctioneering! Besides, this man’s voice is not loud enough, no one will be able to hear him in this large crowd.”

So Diogenes raised his voice and said, “A master has come here for sale. Anyone interested in buying him should come forward.” Someone from the crowd asked, “You call yourself a master?”

Diogenes said, “Yes, I call myself a master. I tied the chains on my own. I have come here on my own, willingly. I stand here for sale of my own free will. And I shall leave whenever I choose to leave. Nothing can happen against my will, because whatsoever happens I make that my will.”

Diogenes is saying, “Whatsoever happens, I make that my will.” This man has indeed attained to tathata, suchness. What it means is: whatever goes on, he is ready for it. He resists nothing at all. In no way can you defeat him, because he will already be a defeated man; you cannot beat him because he will readily allow you to hurt him; you cannot subjugate him because he will readily submit. You can’t do anything to such a man, because no matter what you do, he will not resist. This is indeed a demonstration of a truly supreme resolve.

So tathata is the ultimate will. One who has attained tathata has attained God. Therefore, the question is not whether a seeker who follows the discipline of witnessing, or one who follows the discipline of tathata would attain the same as a seeker who attains by following the discipline of will. It is already attained by him without any problem.

The discipline of will is the most elementary. The discipline of witnessing is of the intermediary kind, and tathata is the ultimate sadhana, the ultimate discipline. So start with the practice of will, take a voyage through witnessing, and reach ultimately to tathata, suchness. There is no conflict among the three.

Please explain the difference between witnessing and tathata.

In witnessing, the duality is present. The witness finds himself separate from that which he experiences.

If a thorn pricks his foot, the witnessing man says, “The thorn has not pricked me, it has pricked my body — I am only the knower of it. The piercing has occurred at one place, while the awareness of it is present somewhere else.”

So in the mind of a witness there exists a duality, a separation between the experiencing of an event and the actual occurrence of it. Therefore, he cannot rise up to the state of advaita, nonduality. And this is why the seeker who stops at the level of being a witness, a watcher, remains confined to a kind of dualism. He ultimately divides the existence into conscious and unconscious. Conscious means the one who knows, and the unconscious means that which is known. So eventually he is bound to end up dividing existence into purusha and prakriti.

Both of these words, purusha and prakriti, are highly significant. Perhaps the true meaning of prakriti may not have occurred to you, prakriti doesn’t mean ‘nature’; in fact, there is no word for prakriti In English. Prakriti means that which was in existence before everything came to be — pra-kriti. Prakriti does not mean srishti or nature, because srishti means that which exists after creation. The word prakriti means that which was before creation.

The word purusha is also very meaningful. The equivalents of such words are extremely difficult to find in any other language of the world, because all these words are born out of very special experiences. You know what pur means; pur means the city. For example, Kanpur, Nagpur. So pur indicates the city, and the one who resides in the city is the purusha. The human body is like a town, a city, and there is someone who resides in it — he is the purusha. Prakriti, therefore, is the pur, and the one who lives in it – – separate, unattached — is the purusha.

So the witness comes as far as the separation of purusha and prakriti. He will set them apart as two entities — the conscious and the unconscious, and a distance will be created between the knower and the known.

Tathata is even more remarkable — the ultimate. Tathata means, there is no duality. There is neither a knower nor is there anything to be known. Or, in other words, the knower is the known. Now it is not that the thorn is hurting me and I am aware of it; or that the thorn and I are separate from each other. It is not even that it would have been better if the thorn had not pierced me, or that it would be good if the thorn came out — no, there is nothing of this sort. Now, everything is accepted: the presence of the thorn, the pricking of it, the awareness of being pricked by it, the experience of pain — everything. And they are different parts of the same thing. Therefore, I am the thorn. I am the very occurrence of pricking. I am the awareness of this occurrence. I myself am the very realization of this all — I am all of this.

That’s why there is no going beyond this ‘I’, my very being. I cannot think, “It would have been better if the thorn had not pricked me” — how can I? For I am the very thorn, the pricking of it, and the knowing of being pricked as well. Nor can I think, “It would be good if the thorn didn’t prick me,” because that would be tantamount to tearing myself apart from my very own being.

Tathata is the ultimate state there is. In that state, whatsoever is, is. It’s a state of the ultimate acceptance of that-which-is. It contains no distinctions. But one cannot reach tathata without having been first a witness. However, one can stop at the level of witnessing, if he so desires, and choose not to arrive at tathata. Similarly, without the use of will, one cannot attain the state of witnessing. Although, having gained willpower, one may wish to stay there and not come to the point of witnessing.

One who stops with attaining firmness of resolve would of course become very powerful, but he won’t be able to attain wisdom. And therefore, the ability to make a resolve can be misused, because wisdom is not required to attain it. One will surely gain a lot of power, but that is precisely why he can abuse it.

The entire black magic is a product of willpower. One who practices it gains a lot of power, but he lacks wisdom totally. He can end up using that power without any discrimination.

A man of will becomes filled with power. It is difficult to predict right away what use he will make of it.  He can obviously put it to bad use. Power in itself is neutral. Nevertheless, it is necessary — whether one intends to use it for good or for evil. And as I see it, rather than remaining a weakling, it is better if one uses his power for evil purposes — for the simple reason that one who commits an evil act now may someday use the same power for a good cause. One who cannot do evil can never do good either. That’s why I say it’s better to be powerful than to be impotent and a wimp.

So a man of power can set out on the path of good as well as evil. It is better to follow the course of goodness, because if followed rightly, it will bring you to the state of witnessing. You won’t end up as a witness if you follow the course of evil; rather, you will simply wander around within the confines of your willpower. Then you will get into mesmerism and hypnotism, tantras and mantras, witchcraft and voodooism. All kinds of things will crop up, but they won’t lead you on a journey toward the soul.

This is becoming lost. The power will indeed be there, but gone astray. If the power is put on the course of goodness, it is sure to give rise to the witness within you, and ultimately that power can be used to know and attain oneself. This is what I call the course of goodness. By the course of evil I mean controlling, possessing, enslaving the other. This is what black magic is. Making use of the power for the purpose of attaining oneself, knowing who am I, what am I, and living authentically, is moving in goodness. And it will indeed lead one toward becoming a witness.

If the urge to attain the state of witnessing is satisfied with the knowing of oneself, the seeker reaches up to the fifth body and stops there. However, if the urge is further intensified, one discovers that he is not alone, he contains everything; that the sun and the moon and the stars, the rocks, the soil, the flowers are all part of him; that his very being, his existence incorporates all the rest. If the seeker proceeds with such an intense feeling, he reaches tathata.

Tathata, suchness, is the ultimate flowering of religion, it is the supreme achievement. It is total acceptance. Whatsoever happens, one is open and agreeable to it. Only such an individual can become totally silent, because even a little bit of resentment can prolong the restlessness. One’s restlessness and tension will continue to remain if he carries even a small degree of complaint. Even the slightest idea, “It didn’t happen the way it should have,” and the tension will continue to persist.

The experience of supreme silence, the experience of the greatest freedom from tension, and that of the ultimate liberation is possible only in the state of tathata. However, only a man of will can eventually attain the state of witnessing, and only his going deeper into witnessing can bring him to the state of tathata. One who has not yet known what being a witness means can never know what total acceptance is.

One who hasn’t realized that he is separate from the thorn which is pricking him is not yet ready to know that the thorn is a part of him. In fact, one who comes to experience the separateness of the thorn can take the next step of feeling one with the thorn as well.

So tathata is the fundamental principle. Among all the spiritual disciplines discovered all over the world, tathata is the greatest. That’s why one of Buddha’s names is Tathagat. It would be good to have some understanding of what this word tathagat means. It will be useful in comprehending the meaning of tathata.

Buddha has used the word Tathagat for himself. He would say, for instance, “Tathagat said….” Tathagat means thus came, thus gone. Just as a breeze comes and goes away without any purpose, without any meaning. Just as a breath of air enters your room and goes out — without any reason. So the one whose coming and going away is as unmotivated, as desireless as the breeze, such a being is called Tathagat. But who would come and go like a breeze?

He alone can pass like a breeze who has attained to tathata. Only he to whom the coming and the going makes no difference can move like a breeze. If he needs to come, he comes; if he needs to go, he goes — the same as Diogenes did. It made no difference to him whether people put him in chains or did not put him in chains. Diogenes said later on, “Only one who is prone to be a slave can be nervous about becoming a slave. Since no one can make me a slave, why should I be afraid I might be taken as a slave?

One who carries even the slightest anxiety that he may be turned into a slave, he alone will remain in fear of it. And one who has such a fear is indeed a slave. Since I happen to be the lord and master myself, you can never enslave me. Even in chains, I am the master, and will remain so in your prison as well. It makes no difference where you throw me; I still remain the lord and master. My mastership is total and complete.”

So the journey consists of this: from will to witness, and from witness to tathata.

-OSHO

From And Now and Here, Chapter 15

And Now and Here

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The Mysteries of the Seven Bodies – Osho

In yesterday’s talk you said that the seeker should first worry about his own receptivity and should not go begging from door to door. But the very meaning of a sadhak is that there are obstacles on his path of spiritual growth. He does not know how to be receptive. Is it difficult to meet the right guide?

To seek and to ask are two different things. Actually, only he who does not want to seek asks. To seek and to ask are not one and the same; rather, they are contradictory. He who wants to avoid seeking asks. The process of seeking and the process of begging are very different. In asking the attention is centered on the other – on the giver; in seeking the attention is centered on oneself – on the receiver. To say that there are obstacles in the path of spiritual growth means there are obstacles within the seeker himself. The path too lies within and it is not very difficult to understand one’s own hindrances. It will have to be explained at length what obstacles are and how they can be removed. Yesterday I told you about the seven bodies. We shall talk in greater detail about these and it will become clear to you.

As there are seven bodies, so there are also seven chakras, energy centers, and each chakra is connected in a special way with its corresponding body. The chakra of the physical body is the muladhar. This is the first chakra and it has an integral connection with the physical body. The muladhar chakra has two possibilities. Its first potentiality is a natural one that is given to us with birth; its other possibility is obtainable by meditation.

The basic natural possibility of this chakra is the sex urge of the physical body. The very first question that arises in the mind of the seeker is what to do in regard to this central principle. Now there is another possibility of this chakra, and that is brahmacharya, celibacy, which is attainable through meditation. Sex is the natural possibility and brahmacharya is its transformation. The more the mind is focused upon and gripped by sexual desire, the more difficult it will be to reach its ultimate potential of brahmacharya.

Now this means that we can utilize the situation given to us by nature in two ways. We can live in the condition that nature has placed us in – but then the process of spiritual growth cannot begin – or we transform this state. The only danger in the path of transformation is that there is the possibility that we may begin to fight with our natural center. What is the real danger in the path of a seeker? The first obstacle is that if the meditator indulges only in nature’s order of things he cannot rise to the ultimate possibility of his physical body and he stagnates at the starting point. On the one hand there is a need; on the other hand there is a suppression which causes the meditator to fight the sex urge. Suppression is an obstacle on the path of meditation. This is the obstacle of the first chakra. Transformation cannot come about with suppression.

If suppression is an obstruction, what is the solution? Understanding will then solve the matter. Transformation takes place within as you begin to understand sex. There is a reason for this. All elements of nature lie blind and unconscious within us. If we become conscious of them, transformation begins. Awareness is the alchemy; awareness is the alchemy of changing them, of transforming them. If a person becomes awake toward his sexual desires with his total feelings and his total understanding, then brahmacharya will begin to take birth within him in place of sex. Unless a person reaches brahmacharya in his first body it is difficult to work on the potentiality of other centers.

The second body, as I said, is the emotional or the etheric body. The second body is connected to the second chakra – the swadhishthan chakra. This too has two possibilities. Basically, its natural potential is fear, hate, anger, and violence. All these are conditions obtained from the natural potential of the swadhishthan chakra. If a person stagnates at the second body, then the directly opposite conditions of transformation – love, compassion, fearlessness, friendliness – do not take place. The obstacle on the meditator’s path in the second chakra is hate, anger and violence, and the question is of their transformation.

Here too the same mistake is made. One person can give vent to his anger; another can suppress his anger. One can just be fearful; another can suppress his fear and make a show of courage. But neither of these will lead to transformation. When there is fear it has to be accepted; there is no use hiding or suppressing it. If there is violence within there is no use in covering it with the mantle of nonviolence. Shouting slogans of nonviolence will bring no change in the state of violence within. It remains violence. It is a condition given to us by nature in the second body. It has its uses just as there is meaning to sex. Through sex alone other physical bodies can be given birth. Before one physical body falls, nature has made provisions for the birth of another.

Fear, violence, anger, are all necessary on the second plane; otherwise man could not survive, could not protect himself. Fear protects him, anger involves him in struggle against others and violence helps him to save himself from the violence of others. All these are qualities of the second body and are necessary for survival, but generally we stop here and do not go any further. If a person understands the nature of fear he attains fearlessness, and if he understands the nature of violence he attains nonviolence. Similarly, by understanding anger we develop the quality of forgiveness.

In fact, anger is one side of the coin, forgiveness is the other. They each hide behind the other – but the coin has to be turned over. If we come to know one side of the coin perfectly we naturally become curious to know what is on the other side – and so the coin turns. If we hide the coin and pretend we have no fear, no violence within, we will never be able to know fearlessness and nonviolence. He who accepts the presence of fear within himself and who has investigated it fully will soon reach a place where he will want to find out what is behind fear. His curiosity will encourage him to see the other side of the coin.

The moment he turns it over he becomes fearless. Similarly, violence will turn into compassion.

These are the potentials of the second body. Thus, the meditator has to bring about a transformation in the qualities given to him by nature. And for this it is not necessary to go around asking others; one has to keep seeking and asking within oneself. We all know that anger and fear are impediments – because how can a coward seek truth? He will go begging for truth; he will wish that someone should give it to him without his having to go into unknown lands.

The third is the astral body. This also has two dimensions. Primarily, the third body revolves around doubt and thinking. If these are transformed doubt becomes trust and thinking becomes vivek, awareness. If doubts are repressed you never attain to shraddha, trust, though we are advised to suppress doubts and to believe what we hear. He who represses his doubts never attains to trust, because doubt remains present within though repressed. It will creep within like a cancer and eat up your vitality. Beliefs are implanted for fear of skepticism. We will have to understand the quality of doubt, we will have to live it and go along with it. Then one day we will reach a point where we will begin to have doubt about doubt itself. The moment we begin to doubt, doubt itself, trust begins.

We cannot reach to the clarity of discrimination without going through the process of thinking. There are people who do not think and people who encourage them not to think. They say, “Do not think; leave all thoughts.” He who stops thinking lands himself in ignorance and blind faith. This is not clarity. The power of discrimination is gained only after passing through the most subtle processes of thinking. What is the meaning of vivek, discrimination? Doubt is always present in thoughts. It is always indecisive. Therefore, those who think a great deal never come to a decision. It is only when they step out of the wheel of thoughts that they can decide. Decision comes from a state of clarity which is beyond thoughts.

Thoughts have no connection with decision. He who is always engrossed in thoughts never reaches a decision. That is why it invariably happens that those whose life is less dominated by thoughts are very resolute, whereas those who think a great deal lack determination. There is danger from both. Those who do not think go ahead and do whatever they are determined to do, for the simple reason that they have no thought process to create doubt within.

The dogmatists and the fanatics of the world are very active and energetic people; for them there is no question of doubting – they never think! If they feel that heaven is attained by killing one thousand people, they will rest only after killing one thousand people and not before. They never stop to think what they are doing so there is never any indecision on their part. A man who thinks, on the contrary, will keep on thinking instead of making any decision.

If we close our doors for fear of thoughts we will be left with blind faith only. This is very dangerous and is a great obstacle in the path of the meditator. What is needed is an open-eyed discretion and thoughts that are clear, resolute, and which allow us to make decisions. This is the meaning of vivek: clarity, awareness. It means that the power of thinking is complete. It means we have passed through thoughts in such detail that all the doubts are cleared. Now only pure decision is left in its essence.

The chakra pertaining to the third body is manipur. Doubt and trust are its two forms. When doubt is transformed trust is the result. But, remember, trust is not opposed or contrary to doubt. Trust is the purest and most ultimate development of it. It is the ultimate extreme of doubt, where even doubt becomes lost because here doubt begins to doubt even itself and in this way commits suicide. Then trust is born.

The fourth plane is the mental body or the psyche, and the fourth chakra, the anahat, is connected with the fourth body. The natural qualities of this plane are imagination and dreaming. This is what the mind is always doing: imagining and dreaming. It dreams in the night and in the daytime it daydreams. If imagination is fully developed, that is to say if it is developed to its fullest extent, in a complete way, it becomes determination, will. If dreaming develops fully it is transformed into vision – psychic vision. If a man’s ability to dream is fully developed he has only to close his eyes and he can see things. He can then see even through a wall. At first he only dreams of seeing beyond the wall; later he actually sees beyond it. Now he can only guess what you are thinking, but after the transformation he sees what you think. Vision means seeing and hearing things without the use of the usual sense organs. The limitations of time and space are no more for a person who develops vision.

In dreams you travel far. If you are in Bombay you reach Calcutta. In vision also you can travel distances, but there will be a difference: in dreams you imagine you have gone, whereas in vision you actually go. The fourth, psychic body can actually be present there. As we have no idea of the ultimate possibility of this fourth body, we have discarded the ancient concept of dreams in today’s world. The ancient experience was that in dream one of the bodies of man comes out of him and goes on a journey.

There was a man, Swedenborg, whom people knew as a dreamer. He used to talk of heaven and hell and that they can only exist in dreams. But one afternoon, as he slept, he began to shout, “Help! Help! My house is on fire.” People came running, but there was no fire there. They awoke him to assure him that it was only a dream and there was no danger of fire. He insisted, however, that his house was on fire. His house was three hundred miles away and it had caught fire at that time. On the second or third day news came of this disaster. His house was burnt to ashes, and it was actually burning when he cried out in his sleep. Now this is no longer a dream but a vision. The distance of three hundred miles was no longer there. This man witnessed what was happening three hundred miles away.

Now scientists also agree that there are great psychic possibilities of the fourth body. Now that man has set out in space, research in this direction has become all the more important. The fact remains that no matter how reliable the instruments at man’s disposal, these cannot be relied upon completely. If the radio communication in a spaceship ceases to function the astronauts lose contact with the world for all time. They will not be able to tell us where they are or what has happened to them. So today scientists are keen to develop telepathy and vision of the psychic body to overcome this risk. If the astronauts were able to communicate directly with the power of telepathy it would be a part of the development of the fourth body. Then space travel can be safe. A lot of work has been carried out in this direction.

Thirty years ago a man set out to explore the North Pole. He was equipped with all that was necessary for wireless communication. One more arrangement was also made which has not made known up until now. A psychic person whose fourth body faculties were functioning was also made to receive the transmission from the explorer. The most surprising thing was that when there was bad weather the wireless failed, but this psychic person received the news without any difficulty. When the diaries were compared later on it was found that eighty to ninety-five percent of the time the signals received by the psychic person were correct, whereas the news relayed by the radio was not available more than seventy-two percent of the time, because there were many breakdowns. Now Russia and America are both very eager, and a great deal of work is going on in the field of telepathy, clairvoyance, thought projection and thought reading. All these are the possibilities of the fourth body. To dream is its natural quality; to see the truth, to see the real, is its ultimate possibility. Anahat is the chakra of this fourth body.

The fifth chakra is the vishuddhi chakra. It is located in the throat. The fifth body is the spiritual body. The vishuddhi chakra is connected to the spiritual body. The first four bodies and their chakras were split into two. The duality ends with the fifth body.

As I said before, the difference between male and female lasts until the fourth body; after that it ends. If we observe very closely all duality belongs to the male and the female. Where the distance between male and female is no more, at that very point all duality ceases. The fifth body is non-dual. It does not have two possibilities but only one.

This is why there is not much effort for the meditator to make: because here there is nothing contrary to develop; here one has only to enter. By the time we reach the fourth body we develop so much capability and strength that it is very easy to enter the fifth body. In that case how can we tell the difference between a person who has entered the fifth body and one who has not? The difference will be that he who has entered the fifth body is completely rid of all unconsciousness. He will not actually sleep at night. That is, he sleeps but his body alone sleeps; someone within is forever awake. If he turns in sleep he knows it; if he does not he knows it. If he has covered himself with a blanket he knows it; if he has not then also he knows it. His awareness does not slacken in sleep; he is awake all the twenty-four hours. For the one who has not entered the fifth body, his state is just the opposite. In sleep he is asleep, and in the waking hours also one layer of him will be asleep.

People appear to be working. When you come home every evening the car turns left into your gate; you apply the brake when you reach the porch. Do not be under the illusion that you are doing all this consciously. It happens unconsciously by sheer force of habit. It is only in certain moments, moments of great danger that we really come into alertness. When the danger is so much that it will not do to go about lacking awareness, we awaken. For instance, if a man puts a knife at your chest you jump into consciousness. The point of the knife for a moment takes you right up to the fifth body. With the exception of these few moments in our lives we live like somnambulists.

Neither has the wife seen the husband’s face properly nor has the husband seen the wife’s face. If the husband tries to visualize the wife’s face he will not be able to do so. The lines of her face will start slipping away and it will be difficult to say whether it was the same face he has seen for the last thirty years. You have never seen, because there must be an awakened person within you to see.

One who is “awake” appears to be seeing but actually he is not – because he is asleep within, dreaming, and everything is going on in this dream state. You get angry, then you say, “I do not know how I got angry; I did not want to.” You say, “Forgive me! I did not want to be rude; it was a slip of the tongue.” You have used an obscenity and it is you who deny the intention of its use. The criminal always says, “I did not want to kill. It happened in spite of me.” This proves that we are going about like an automaton. We say what we do not want to say; we do what we do not want to do.

In the evening we vow to be up at four in the morning. When it is four o’clock and the alarm goes off we turn over saying there is no need to be up so early. Then you get up at six and are filled with remorse for having overslept. Then you again swear to keep the same vow as yesterday. It is strange that a man decides on one thing in the evening and goes back on it in the morning! Then what he decides at four in the morning changes again before it is six, and what he decides at six changes long before it is evening, and in between he changes a thousand times. These decisions, these thoughts, come to us in our sleepy state. They are like dreams: they expand and burst like bubbles. There is no wakeful person behind them – no one who is alert and conscious.

So sleep is the innate condition before the beginning of the spiritual plane. Man is a somnambulist before he enters the fifth body, and there the quality is wakefulness. Therefore, after the growth of the fourth body we can call the individual a buddha, an awakened one. Now such a man is awake. Buddha is not the name of Gautam Siddharth but a name given him after his attainment of the fifth plane. Gautama the Buddha means Gautam who has awakened. His name remained Gautam, but that was the name of the sleeping person so gradually it dropped and only Buddha remained.

This difference comes with the attainment of the fifth body. Before we enter into it, whatever we do is an unconscious action which cannot be trusted. One moment a man vows to love and cherish his loved one the whole life and the next moment he is quite capable of strangling her. The alliance which he promised for a lifetime does not last long. This poor man is not to be blamed. What is the value of promises given in sleep? In a dream I may promise, “This is a lifelong relationship.” What value is this promise? In the morning I will deny it because it was only a dream.

A sleeping man cannot be trusted. This world of ours is entirely a world of sleeping people; hence, so much confusion, so many conflicts, so many quarrels, so much chaos. It is all the making of sleeping men.

There is another important difference between a sleeping man and an awakened man which we should bear in mind. A sleeping man does not know who he is, so he is always striving to show others that he is this or he is that. This is his lifelong endeavor. He tries in a thousand ways to prove himself. Sometimes he climbs the ladder of politics and declares, “I am so and so.” Sometimes he builds a house and displays his wealth, or he climbs a mountain and displays his strength. He tries in all ways to prove himself. And in all these efforts he is in fact unknowingly trying to find out for himself who he is. He knows not who he is.

Before crossing the fourth plane we cannot find the answer. The fifth body is called the spiritual body because there you get the answer to the quest for “Who am I?” The call of the ‘I’ stops once and for all on this plane; the claim to be someone special vanishes immediately. If you say to such a person, “You are so and so,” he will laugh. All claims from his side will now stop, because now he knows. There is no longer any need to prove himself, because who he is, is now a proven fact.

The conflicts and problems of the individual end on the fifth plane. But this plane has its own hazards. You have come to know yourself, and this knowing is so blissful and fulfilling that you may want to terminate your journey here. You may not feel like continuing on. The hazards that were up to now were all of pain and agony; now the hazards that begin are of bliss. The fifth plane is so blissful that you will not have the heart to leave it and proceed further. Therefore, the individual who enters this plane has to be very alert about clinging to bliss so that it does not hinder him from going further. Here bliss is supreme and at the peak of its glory; it is in its profoundest depths. A great transformation comes about within one who has known himself. But this is not all; there is further to go also.

It is a fact that distress and suffering do not obstruct our way as much as joy. Bliss is very obstructive. It was difficult enough to leave the crowd and confusion of the marketplace, but it is a thousand times more difficult to leave the soft music of the veena in the temple. This is why many meditators stop at atma gyan, self-realization, and do not go up to brahma gyan, experience of the Brahman – the cosmic reality.

We shall have to be alert about this bliss. Our effort here should be not to get lost in this bliss. Bliss draws us towards itself; it drowns us; we get immersed in it completely. Do not become immersed in bliss. Know that this too is an experience. Happiness was an experience, misery was an experience; bliss too is an experience. Stand outside of it, be a witness. As long as there is experience there is an obstacle: the ultimate end has not been reached. At the ultimate state all experiences end. Joy and sorrow come to an end, so also does bliss. Our language, however, does not go beyond this point. This is why we have described God as sat-chit-ananda – truth-consciousness-bliss. This is not the form of the supreme self, but this is the ultimate that words can express. Bliss is the ultimate expression of man. In fact, words cannot go beyond the fifth plane. But about the fifth plane we can say, “There is bliss there; there is perfect awakening; there is realization of the self there.” All this can be described.

Therefore, there will be no mystery about those who stop at the fifth plane. Their talk will sound very scientific because the realm of mystery lies beyond this plane. Things are very clear up to the fifth plane. I believe that science will sooner or later absorb those religions that go up to the fifth body, because science will be able to reach up to the atman.

When a seeker sets out on this path his search is mainly for bliss and not truth. Frustrated by suffering and restlessness he sets out in search of bliss. So one who seeks bliss will definitely stop at the fifth plane; therefore, I must tell you to seek not bliss but truth. Then you will not remain long here.

Then a question arises: “There is ananda: this is well and good. I know myself: this too is well and good. But these are only the leaves and the flowers. Where are the roots? I know myself, I am blissful – it is good, but from where do I arise? Where are my roots? From where have I come? Where are the depths of my existence? From which ocean has this wave that I am arisen?”

If your quest is for truth you will go ahead of the fifth body. From the very beginning, therefore, your quest should be for truth and not bliss; otherwise your journey up to the fifth plane will be easy but you will stop there. If the quest is for truth, there is no question of stopping there.

So the greatest obstacle on the fifth plane is the unequaled joy we experience – and more so because we come from a world where there is nothing but pain, suffering, anxiety and tension.

Then, when we reach this temple of bliss, there is an overwhelming desire to dance with ecstasy, to be drowned, to be lost in this bliss. This is not the place to be lost. That place will come, and then you will not have to lose yourself; you will simply be lost. There is a great difference between losing yourself and being lost. In other words, you will reach a place where even if you wish you cannot save yourself. You will see yourself becoming lost; there is no remedy. Yet here also in the fifth body you can lose yourself. Your effort, your endeavor, still works here – and even though the ego is intrinsically dead on the fifth plane, I-am-ness still persists. It is necessary, therefore, to understand the difference between ego and I-am-ness.

The ego, the feeling of ‘I’, will die, but the feeling of ‘am’ will not die. There are two things in “I am,” the ‘I’ is the ego and the ‘am’ is asmita – the feeling of being. So the ‘I’ will die on the fifth plane, but the being, the ‘am’, will remain: I-am-ness will remain. Standing on this plane, a meditator will declare, “There are infinite souls and each soul is different and apart from the other.” On this plane the meditator will experience the existence of infinite souls, because he still has the feeling of am, the feeling of being which makes him feel apart from others. If the quest for truth grips the mind the obstacle of bliss can be crossed – because incessant bliss becomes tedious. A single strain of a melody can become irksome.

Bertrand Russell once said jokingly, “I am not attracted to salvation, because I hear there is nothing but bliss there. Bliss alone would be very monotonous – bliss and bliss and nothing else. If there is not a single trace of unhappiness – no anxiety, no tension in it – how long can one bear such bliss?”

To be lost in bliss is the hazard of the fifth plane. It is very difficult to overcome. Sometimes it takes many births to do so. The first four steps are not so hard to cross, but the fifth is very difficult. Many births may be needed to be bored of bliss, to be bored of the self, to be bored of the atman.

So the quest up to the fifth body is to be rid of pain, hatred, violence and desires. After the fifth the search is in order to be rid of the self. So there are two things: the first is freedom from something; this is one thing and it is completed at the fifth plane. The second thing is freedom from the self, and so a completely new world starts from here.

The sixth is the brahma sharira, the cosmic body, and the sixth chakra is the agya chakra. Here there is no duality. The experience of bliss becomes intense on the fifth plane and the experience of existence, of being, on the sixth. Asmita will now be lost – I am. The I in this, is lost at the fifth plane and the am will go as soon as you transcend the fifth. The is-ness will be felt; tathata, suchness will be felt. Nowhere will there be the feeling of I or of am; only that which is remains. So here will be the perception of reality, of being – the perception of consciousness. But here the consciousness is free of me; it is no longer my consciousness. It is only consciousness – no longer my existence, but only existence.

Some meditators stop after reaching the Brahma sharira, the cosmic body, because the state of “I am the Brahman” has come – of “Aham Brahmasmi,” when I am not and only the Brahman is. Now what more is there to seek? What is to be sought? Nothing remains to be sought. Now everything is attained. The Brahman means the total. One who stands at this point says, “The Brahman is the ultimate truth, the Brahman is the cosmic reality. There is nothing beyond.”

It is possible to stop here, and seekers do stop at this stage for millions of births, because there seems to be nothing ahead. So the Brahma gyani, the one who has attained realization of the Brahman, will get stuck here; he will go no further. This is so difficult to cross because there is nothing to cross to. Everything has been covered. Does not one need a space to cross into? If I want to go outside of this room there must be someplace else to go. But the room has now become so enormous, so beginningless and endless, so infinite, so boundless, that there is nowhere to go. So where will we go to search? Nothing remains to be found; everything has been covered. So the journey may halt at this stage for infinite births.

So the Brahman is the ultimate obstacle – the last barrier in the ultimate quest of the seeker. Now only the being remains, but nonbeing has yet to be realized. The being, the is-ness, is known, but the nonbeing has yet to be realized – that which is not still remains to be known. Therefore, the seventh plane is the nirvana kaya, nirvanic body, and its chakra is the sahasrar. Nothing can be said in connection with this chakra. We can only continue talking at the most up to the sixth – and that too with great difficulty. Most of it will turn out to be wrong.

Until the fifth body the search progresses within a very scientific method; everything can be explained. On the sixth plane the horizon begins to fade; everything seems meaningless. Hints can still be given but ultimately the pointing finger breaks and the hints too are no more because one’s own being is eliminated. So the Brahman, the absolute being, is known from the sixth body and the sixth chakra.

Therefore, those who seek the Brahman will meditate on the agya chakra which is between the eyes. This chakra is connected to the cosmic body. Those who work completely on this chakra will begin to call the vast infinite expanse that they witness the third eye. This is the third eye from where they can now view the cosmic, the infinite.

One more journey yet remains – the journey to nonbeing, nonexistence. Existence is only half the story: there is also nonexistence. Light is, but on the other side there is darkness. Life is one part, but there is also death. Therefore, it is necessary also to know the remaining nonexistence, the void, because the ultimate truth can only be known when both are known – existence and nonexistence. Being is known in its entirety and nonbeing is known in its entirety: then the knowing is complete. Existence is known in entirety and nonexistence is known in its entirety: then we know the whole; otherwise our experience is incomplete. There is an imperfection in brahma gyan, which is that it has not been able to know the nonbeing. Therefore, the brahma gyani denies that there is such a thing as nonexistence and calls it an illusion. He says that it does not exist. He says that to be is the truth and not to be is a falsity. There simply is no such thing, so the question of knowing it does not arise.

Nirvana kaya means the shunya kaya, the void from where we jump from the being into the nonbeing. In the cosmic body something yet remains unknown. That too has to be known – what it is not to be, what it is to be completely erased. Therefore, the seventh plane in a sense is an ultimate death. Nirvana, as I told you previously, means the extinction of the flame. That which was I, is extinct; that which was am, is extinct. But now we have again come into being by being one with the all. Now we are the Brahman, and this too will have to be left. He who is ready to take the last jump knows the existence and also the nonexistence.

So these are the seven bodies and the seven chakras, and within them lie all the means as well as the barriers. There are no barriers outside. Therefore, there is not much reason to inquire outside. If you have gone to ask someone or to understand from someone, then do not beg. To understand is one thing, to beg is another. Your search should always continue. Whatever you have heard and understood should also be made your search. Do not make it your belief or else it will be begging.

You asked me something; I gave you an answer. If you have come for alms you will put this in your bag and store it away as your treasure. Then you are not a meditator but a beggar. No, what I told you should become your quest. It should accelerate your search; it should stimulate and motivate your curiosity. It should put you into greater difficulty, make you more restless and raise new questions in you, new dimensions, so that you will set out on a new path of discovery. Then you have not taken alms from me, then you have understood what I said. And if this helps you to understand yourself, then this is not begging.

So go forth to know and understand; go forth to search. You are not the only one seeking; many others are also. Many have searched, many have attained. Try to know, to grasp, what has happened to such people and also what has not happened; try and understand all this. But while understanding this, do not stop trying to understand your own self. Do not think that understanding others has become your realization. Do not put faith in their experiences; do not believe them blindly. Rather, turn everything into questioning. Turn them into questions and not answers; then your journey will continue. Then it will not be begging: it will be your quest.

It is your search that will take you to the last. As you penetrate within yourself you will find the two sides of each chakra. As I told you, one is given to you by nature and one you have to discover. Anger is given to you; forgiveness you have to find. Sex is given to you; brahmacharya you have to develop. Dreams you have; vision has to evolve.

Your search for the opposite will continue up to the fourth chakra. From the fifth will start your search for the indivisible, for the non-dual. Try to continue your search for that which is different from what has come to you in the fifth body. When you attain bliss try to find out what there is beyond bliss. On the sixth plane you attain the Brahman, but keep inquiring, “What is there beyond the Brahman?” Then one day you will step into the seventh body, where being and nonbeing, light and darkness, life and death, occur together. That is the attainment of the ultimate… and there are no means of communicating this state.

This is why our scriptures end with the fifth body, or at the most they go up to the sixth body. Those with a completely scientific turn of mind do not talk about what is after the fifth body. The cosmic reality, which is boundless and unlimited, begins from there, but mystics like the Sufis talk of the planes beyond the fifth. It is very difficult to talk of these planes because one has to contradict oneself again and again. If you go through the text of all that one Sufi has said you will say this person is mad. Sometimes he says one thing and sometimes something else. He says, “God is” and he also says, “God is not.” He says, “I have seen him” and in the same breath he says, “How can you see him? He is not an object that the eyes can see!” These mystics raise such questions that you will wonder if they are asking others or asking themselves.

Mysticism starts with the sixth plane. Therefore, where there is no mysticism in a religion, know that it has finished on the fifth body. But mysticism also is not the final stage. The ultimate is the void – nothingness. The religion that ends with mysticism ends with the sixth body. The void is the ultimate; nihilism is the ultimate, because after it there is nothing more to be said.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Chapter 16

In Search of the Miraculous

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